Human Rights

A look at what’s been banned in Texas


Pro-lifers all across the country are celebrating the victory in Texas. In addition to laws regulating abortion clinics, abortions after twenty weeks have become illegal. In order to fully appreciate what we have gained, let’s review some of the facts on late-term abortions.


Unborn child at 20 weeks gestation.

The unborn baby at twenty weeks is a dynamic, active little human being who is developing and growing bigger every day. She has fully developed hands and feet and unique fingerprints in a pattern that has never existed before and will never exist again.

The baby’s gender can be determined by an ultrasound. If the baby is female, she already has a developing uterus. Her ovaries have been identifiable since partway through the first trimester.

Taste buds have been forming since 11-13 weeks after conception.

AW Liley’s groundbreaking article “The Foetus as a Personality,” published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, referenced an experiment which showed that unborn children are capable of taste preference by the third trimester.

Fetal drinking rates crash after the injection of the contrast medium Lipiodol – an iodinated poppyseed oil which tastes foul to an adult or child and which causes a neonate to grimace and cry.

The babies drank less of the amniotic fluid when it was flavored to taste bad and showed the same facial reactions a newborn would.

At 23 weeks, the baby begins to respond to sounds she hears through the uterine wall. Researchers have discovered that unborn babies are capable of recognizing their parents’ voices; in one experiment, babies responded differently to their mothers’ voices from how they did to the voice of a stranger.

The fetus at 23 weeks also dreams. Sonograms have shown rapid eye movements, indicating REM sleep at this time (1).

Abortions at 20 weeks or later are usually done in one of two ways. Dr. Vincent Argent is an abortionist who has performed late-term abortions in the past but now campaigns for a ban on abortions after sixteen weeks. He says of the abortions he’s performed:

There are two main types of procedure; the medical type, which kills the baby via medication, meaning that the woman miscarries a stillborn. If the baby is 22 weeks or older, it will be given a lethal injection in the womb, to ensure it is not born alive. Alternatively the surgical procedure uses instruments to remove parts of the dismembered body from the uterus, limb by limb. It is hard to describe how it feels to pull out parts of a baby, to see arms, and bits of leg, and finally the head. (2)

Dr. Warren Hern wrote a medical textbook which teaches doctors how to do abortions. We can consider him an expert. As of 1990, he had performed over 12,000 abortions, and he is still practicing now. It is safe to say he has done many more. Here he describes how to kill a baby in the second trimester or later:

[From 19 to 22 weeks post fertilization age] A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus, since it may be impossible to apply forceps or to do so while avoiding the thinned out cervix. (3)

Thanks to the heroic efforts of so many activists, these atrocities will now be illegal in Texas. If enough people knew how brutal abortions are, particularly this late in pregnancy, more and more would stand with pro-lifers. We need to educate the public on the horror of abortion.


1. J. Birnhaltz “the Development of Human Fetal Eye Movement Patterns” Science, 1981, volume 213, pages 679 – 681

2. “A British Abortionist Argues for a 16 Week Time Limit” The Telegraph May 2008

3. Warren Hern Abortion Practice (Philadelphia: J Lippincott, 1990) PP 153 154 in Stephen Wagner, Common Ground Without Compromise: 25 Questions to Create Dialogue on Abortion. (Signal Hill, CA: Stand to Reason, 2008)76

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